Spring training for baseball started this week—for pitchers and catchers, anyway. Everyone else is expected a week or so later. That got me to thinking back to the San Diego years and the time my dad spent playing for the Padres.
San Diego versus Seattle in Seattle. Bottom of the ninth—bases loaded, no outs. San Diego ahead three to two. Pitcher in trouble. Bring in a reliever—this time it was southpaw Wally Hebert. After warming up he tossed the batter an inside curve, the batter made contact, and the game was over. Chalk up another win for the Padres.
What’s that, you say? Bases loaded, no outs, one pitch and it’s over? No way. Well, yes. Way. Here’s how. The batter hit a soft liner to shortstop Jimmy Levy. Out # 1. Levy stepped on second base. Out # 2. Tossed the ball to first. Out # 3. Levy, the fastest sprinter in the league, probably could have outrun the batter and had an unassisted triple play.
My dad had a lot of interesting moments during his baseball years, such as striking out the Bambino but that’s another story. He always said the unique triple play was the most unforgettable thing he ever saw. Next week you can find out what Babe Ruth said to him as the Bambino made his way back to the dugout.